“Intersections” progress

The exhibit this was to be in was cancelled/postponed due to current situation of course, but i still want to meet the deadline of March 31st at 9AM!

So, orientation choices. Vertical or horizontal? (Bear in mind this is neither finished, nor edited well . (Mockup only, as the moon is not attached yet, and needs some fine tuning.) The moon itself can be a horizontal or vertical in relation to the whole as well.

“Love is the Answer” project, part 2

March 7/18:

(As i mentioned before, these entries will all be posted when my part of the project is done, but are dated at the time written. For reference to previous thoughts, see Part 1 and posts following this one by clicking on “Love is the Answer collaborative project” under the entry.)

Most of us have a personal symbol system, whether motif, shape, object, colour or even stitch, that marks our work, makes it ours and is ultimately satisfying. Mine are anatomical (hearts, brain, spine/bones) or nature inspired (bees/roots/branches/moons), and the hexagon shape, quite ubiquitous in a lot of my work. Hexagons, in my lexicon, are cells, microscopic flora and fauna, hives, memories, all symbolizing at a basic level, connectivity.

While most of my personal symbols would probably work within the context of this collaborative project, i feel the heart and hexagons would be the most appropriate. Heart and connectivity are most definitely parts of love, in all of its platonic, romantic, pantheistic and spiritual permutations. It’s these components that make it work, in my books. And that is where Respect starts, as Love is Respect.

For this, i wanted to use the really abstracted drawings of the way the heart’s “electrical” current flows. This was a pre-cursor to that (from 2006!).

I had started a new project/idea in January of this year (after correcting the placement of that left side hand!):

Went nowhere with it….

BUT. Those hands and what about with an abstracted heart?????

I liked this sketch,


and thought to make it a bit more story telling, a heart’s current over the entire world. (This is a somewhat artistic rendering of the actual heart current, abstracted and more ornamental, but it does represent the real thing. Because i have heart issues, i do a lot of research πŸ™‚ )

Sept 29/18: A version of that sketch will go on this:

Oct:Β Β Β  And i finished the “back” for this pennant, though i suppose there is no front or back, no “right” or “wrong” side to this project, as Mo is suspending them from very evocative armature.



“Love is the Answer” project, part 1

March 5/18: (I decided not to publish any of these until i had a certain amount of work done on my part of the project , hence the date at the beginning of the post. You might have seen some of the drawings/work though in previous to this project posts πŸ™‚ )

I’ve been a long time follower/reader of Mo Orkizewski (Mo Crow) at her It’s Crow Time blog in Australia. I admire her spirit, her ethics, her art and her outlook on life. In June of 2017, she conceived a project, based on a line from her equally talented partner’s song “I Dream of a World”, that has become a hugely collaborative art installation, slated for display in 2019 at Artsite as part of a show entitled “Braille for the Soul”.

Now, long time readers will know that i “hold no truck” with arty proposed “solutions” to world evils, from folding paper cranes for Paris’s Charlie Hebdo tragedy, to prayer flags for whatever cause, or “craft for peace” days. It’s not that i think groundswell movements can’t change things (because alas, our sad world has so many problems), but that people use these as excuses to pay a moment of goodytwoshoes my piece about peace is more important than your considered opinion and actions about HOW to/that do actually make things better for SOMEONE.

*My* answer usually is go small, be small. Contra-indicative? Nope. Because i/you will never stop any of the depredations that man commits upon man, that man commits on the world, on Mother Nature, on women, on children (and by “man” that’s the generic human species, not specifically the male sex–though given the current climate in the US happening right now with the confirmation hearings, that’s a debate well in fury right now…..), by practicing origami, hanging rags on ropes in a breeze, or blessing fabric in the sea. Going and being small does not mean either that one is selfish–i mean go small, be small, as in sharing what you have with someone who truly needs, in your own part of the world. It is a small thing on a global or universal scale, but it helps someone/something immediately. Prayers don’t fill bellies, warm hands in -40 temps, or show any true kindness.Β  Be small when you volunteer, donate give ( i don’t like the word donate with all its connotations of old clothes that don’t fit, or that you had enough money to mis-spend and really don’t care, or a 20 dollar bill once a year in the Salvation Army kettles because you feel guilty and seasonally magnanimous at the same time…), help, compliment, show respect, share gloves and scarves, a sandwich and coffee, a five dollar bill to someone scraping for busfare or cans in the trash, hold a door, pick up someone who has fallen on the ice, because small is big for some. If you can make ONE day better for ONE person, doesn’t that say more for your humanity and soul AND theirs, than all the frickin’ paper cranes in the world???????? And maybe THAT person is the one who DOES change the WHOLE world.

Off the soapbox. So WHY then would i contribute gladly to a project like this? Because to me, this one does say something–it’s the joining of a lot of viewpoints from around the world, expressed eloquently, calmly, lovingly and full of hope and concern, with intent, expression and heart that goes beyond slapping some felt letters on a scrap or finding the prettiest paper at great expense to torture into a symbolic shape.

So within the context of the show, what does “Love is the answer” mean? Love, true love***, whether platonic, romantic, pantheistic, or spiritual is, on a broader truer scale, about respect. It does not use apologies as manipulation, is inclusive, does not contrive, never obligates, does not keep a ledger. Love guides and supports, connects and strengthens, complements, enhances and shares. Love is moral, thoughtful, questioning but not aggressive, does not judge, is constant and patient. Love is not guile or a weapon. I re-iterate: Love is Respect.

So, anyways, off the box again πŸ™‚ Mo sent me one of the “pennants” to do with as i wish. (The fabric is from a very old wedding dress.) I took it apart first, as the layers can be re-assembled when the work is done.

I did an alum pre-mordant, assuming the cloth was silk, but there was no madder dye uptake, then realized it was a synthetic after a burn test spattered some on one of my fingers! Then i spent two weeks dithering about what i was going to do next, staring at it, shuffling bits on and off it, having multiple “Eureka” moments that withered very very very fast, and thinking i was going to completely ruin it —–and Mo was going to politely say “oh that’s interesting” while privately wondering why the hell she had sent the original to me at all…….

This will be a layered process, something i have done before, but not a lot lately. Building dimension and story this way means the elements won’t be fighting each other. This is the “first” layer, though in the end, it’ll be the background, and not all visible. I deliberately stitched some areas so that they looked as if they were fading, rubbed out. (Unfinished at time of photography.) Not only is negative space important, but it will be more effective once the next layers go on.

Greyman thought i was embroidering him a wide tie πŸ™‚ , but *his* choice of words would have been quite different!

July: A mock up for part of the front, still being worked:

August: and good progress on the back, as of the middle of August:

Stay tuned for “part 2” and maybe one more: one post would be waaaaaay too long!!! And of course, an “Artist Statement” πŸ™‚

“Love, true love”*** does momentarily give me a giggle as i remember a particular scene from “The Princess Bride”…..


Tabula Memoria journal available, and residency exhibit news

If you are interested in process, rather than project, the journal that accompanies “Tabula Memoria” is available through Blurb now. This was as much a labour of love as the actual work was, and i’m quite proud of it. The print quality is fantastic, and i am liking the response from the few who have seen it “in the flesh”. It’s a bit chatty, but that was part of the point as well!

The actual link is here, because clicking on the photo below takes you to only the preview, with a bit of a counter-intuitive search for the information!


I have yet to figure out the PDF conversion so at the moment, it’s only available as an actual Real Book. I also have not jacked the price very much above the base price, as i’d rather more be able to add it to their libraries! (And remember, the price is in CANADIAN DOLLARS.)

With the timeframe i’d had left to get work done for the end of residency show, i decided instead that since the owner of this work isn’t picking it up until near the end of September, that i could show this instead. Created with fabrics during my 2016 residency, and worked on during the 2017 residency, it suits perfectly in that respect as work done DURING res (because i have seen work in those shows that had nothing to do with res…which kind of defeats the purpose of the exhibition IMHO), and also, as celebrating 10 years of Contextural, it was a perfect opportunity for me to see and show how *i* have evolved in 10 years. (Though i have been a member for only 8!)

To show the scale, i gritted my teeth and had my photo taken with it, hanging at the 371 Gallery at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD). I really don’t like getting my picture taken anymore, because it reminds me i am no longer a sweet young thing (yes, i was, a long time ago, and sometimes still, inside πŸ™‚ ), but it *is* important that people see the Actual Real Artist on occasion!

If you are in or near Calgary, Alberta, or are visiting, the exhibition is up, ready for you view it. The Closing Reception is Thursday, September 14th but you can come into ACAD’s public areas and take it in anytime daily until then between 8am – 8pm, weekends too. Remember to check the two areas – the Main Mall and Room 371. I don’t know at this point if i will be at the closing reception, but who knows?

sampling notes, and a belated Happy Ma Day

Featured with other UberTalents, on TextileArtist again!

And previously there: Part One and Part Two

Mother’s Day week at the ffFlower Mines was exhausting. I’m rejuvenating today by doing yard work in the morning–fresh air and exercise clearing the beds, and going to an estate sale with a friend in the afternoon to clean out an apparently mind blowing thread stash.

Too busy to “stage” that above arrangement properly!

Original Truths, almost done

I thought i had been working on this for months, but as it turns out since “res” was done at the end of June, it hasn’t been that long after all. All the little details are what makes it seem longer ago than July 11th that i started it! I have only a few tiny areas left to stitch, then to back it, ready for delivery on the 28th.

As i said in a previous post, i’ve always felt alien, outsider, misfit, so this then i guess is a self portrait of sorts, another side to the mirror, that long path behind the subconscious.

I added bees, of course i added bees.

Donna Noble: You’re saying bees are aliens?
The Doctor: Don’t be so daft – not all of them.

I love Dr Who:)


The Feminine Monarchie

And there’s a secret hidden under one of the larger hexes, a treatment i liked, but not for this piece!


The hex beside the lace rose is where it’s hidden now.

hiding hex

ot aug 21 almost done

And now there will be a shuffling of papers, folding of fabrics, and paint and ink splashed about as i research and develop new work. Here’s a “mood board” for something i’d like to do:

mood boardwith this as the primary image:

winged 1

winged 2Not sure which orientation to begin with, not that it really matters as there are 2 separate cloths here.Β  Maybe i’ll do both to give myself a break from the same thing over and over —HA, joke. I had originally thought of doing another “abstract”, rather than pictorial, but nothing is set in stone.

push pull

There are no machine made nodules, no “dimension” beyond the tactility of the stitching, but elements of my overly ambitious plans for something else have crept in and settled comfortably.

To hell with “Concept” as i said in an earlier post. I’m tired of trying to write statements that explain WHY i did something, especially when a well written tailoring can adapt almost any piece to any show. Concept can be in the eye of the beholder as well, right? As we develop our style, our voice, whatever you want to label it, certain truths and ideas, interpretations become self evident don’t they. (Not a question, a fact.)

se contextural

When you make 8 pages of notes and sketches, and still can’t quite “git ‘er done”, it’s not the right time for that CONCEPT.

So, this then is the piece i will be exhibiting. Finally titled also as “Original Truths”, since i went back to what i love and love doing. No influence from anything else, any other artist, just me. This *is* me on the other side of the mirror. I’ve heard it said that when an artist draws faces, unless in a deliberate style, that elements of their own face, or their internal guise, are more evident, so though i’m not completely sure what this says about myself, other than the feeling that i have always felt alien, outsider, misfit, stranger in a strange land.

Though most of it is done, there’s something missing. I shall have to pin it up and stare at it for awhile.

OT aug 16 almost done

I need to pull some of the starker white to the left top somehow, but how? Not more hexes, too heavy handed then.

It’s also been a bitch to photograph—-i need that perfect afternoon light, because otherwise there is too much yellow imparted to the golds and browns in this. I’m happy with the detail shots, but the whole, not so much. Since it *is* not quite done though, i’ll worry about that later. The detail shots are good enough to submit to the show organizer.

OT aug 16 detail 1

OT aug 16 detail 2

There are 12 days until the exhibit gets set up, so hopefully i can finalize a solution to what’s missing, execute it, and photograph the whole properly.